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Student Joins Drexel Delegation at International Climate Conference

The Drexel delegation for the second week of COP26 at Loch Ness.
Sarah Wetzel (bottom left) and the Drexel delegation at Loch Ness. Photo courtesy of Atharva Bhagwat.

November 23, 2021

Sarah Wetzel, public health ’23, was one of several undergraduate students in Drexel University's delegation at the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s annual Conference of Parties (COP).

Held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021, the COP26 conference aligns with the goals of Drexel's 2021 Climate Year initiatives.

In preparation for the COP26 conference, Wetzel and the other undergraduate student attendees took a "Great Works: Climate Action" colloquium course in the Pennoni Honors College. Taught by Adam Zahn, the Office of Global Engagement’s Director of Global Engagement, the course studied COP-related issues and featured guest speakers with COP experience.

Asked by DrexelNow about the opportunity to attend COP26, Wetzel shared: 

"Like many of my peers, I’ve always been invested in the fight against climate change, but I’ve never been given the space to do anything substantial. Now, as a public health student, I am learning concrete ways to improve lives and address some of the inequities in our society. I originally saw COP26 as an opportunity to learn more about ending the inequities caused by climate change."

"I’ve been so inspired by young activists here — not just the ones in the streets, but the ones who engage with politicians and organizations throughout the year...I’ve heard from young women who have no choice but to advocate for their communities, which are burning, contaminated by pollution from mines, or devastated by poverty. I want everyone to understand how vital this issue is."

"Young people, especially young girls, who are Indigenous or whose countries have been exploited for centuries, are doing more meaningful work than many of the ministers and big heads walking around in suits. Like many students and faculty at Drexel, I am incredibly privileged. I want to urge all of us to use that privilege to save lives."

Other student, faculty, and staff attendees reflect on their experience in the full story on Drexel Now: 

Drexel Hosts First COP Event, Sends Delegation to COP26

Learn about public health undergraduate programs at Dornsife.